Starting My Garden & Other Gardening Projects

You may remember I posted in April about getting my plants started for my garden. This past weekend we replanted them and planted some more seeds. Of course now that I replanted them, the weather has gotten much colder. Oh, well. I have also been doing a lot of gathering of different gardening books and in particular ones with ideas for gardening with children. I will share several of them with you here, so keep reading!! The first one I found and love is Roots Shoots Buckets & Boots by Sharon Lovejoy. This book has some great ideas for gardens to grow with children. The idea we took from it this year is a sunflower garden that can be a fun place house/hiding space. Thus why we are growing so many sunflowers. We will be doing other ideas from it in later years. She also has wonderful ideas on what to do if you do not have much space and other issues.
Our marigolds less than a week after we planted them!

A companion to Roots Shoots Buckets and Boots is Sunflower Houses also by Sharon Lovejoy. I found this one this year at Drumlin Farms in the gift shop. This book has great ideas on things to do with items from your garden for children. She literally interviewed adults and asked them what they remember about gardening as a child and wrote down some of the most popular things in this book. Needless to say sunflower houses is one of them, but not the only one. There are also hollyhock dolls and more. I bought a few hollyhock bulbs and we are going to plant them along the driveway edge to help give a little more privacy from the street. This will also be right in front of the sunflower garden, so I'm hoping it will help keep it more private as well.
Garden Diary

Of course I also started a garden diary. I used it to plan out where we would put the sunflower garden so Steve could visualize it more and planned out where to plant the vegetables that Hazel picked out. I am also going to have Hazel look through magazines and seed catalogs to cut out pictures of gardens, flowers, plants that she likes and glue them in and any seed packages, etc. and any comments we have on how they grow for future gardens.

A book I just found at the library is Project Garden by Stacy Tornio. It goes month by month with different things to do for your garden as well as crafts, recipes, etc. Talk about some quality family time ideas. This book looks great. I think I'm going to add it to my must buy list. It has so many great ideas and is a great resource for some of the common plants people grow around here at least.

Hazel's Herb Garden Box
We took a few ideas from another great book, Green Thumbs by Laurie Carlson. This book has so many great ideas in it for activities to do with children. Another must look at book for anyone who wants to teach their child about the plant growth cycle and other need things with plants. One idea was to do a window herb garden. I planted one for Hazel for her room (she didn't want to help when it came time to plant it). I picked herbs that would be fragrant as well as tasty, so we could also use it for our senses. I used lavender, lemon basil, dill, sage, and rosemary.

Another idea we got from Green Thumbs is to make a flower press. I love pressing flowers and using them in crafts or on note cards. I usually just layer the flowers in printer paper and pile books on them, however I loved this simple flower press to make instead. (I have also eyed some at stores and refuse to pay what they ask for them when they look so easy to make. I just need to get some wood and screws to do it properly.)

I made a couple of changes, but nothing to serious. Materials I used are two pieces of cardboard (I used the bottom of my water bottle cases), a piece of contact paper, masking tape or duct tape in a pretty color, at least 2 yards of ribbon, an exacto knife and paper towels and a heavy book. I added the contact paper because I wanted to make it a bit more water proof. I first let Hazel decorate one side the cardboard and I labeled it Hazel's Flower Press. Then we put the contact paper on one side of each cardboard piece (not the decorated side). Then we used the tape to soften the edges of the cardboard. I let Hazel put it on one piece somewhat by herself, so it is not perfect. Then use the exacto knife to cut four slits in both pieces of cardboard where you will thread the ribbon through.
Thread the ribbon through so it looks like this (this is the side with contact paper--I used clear so you can't see it).  Now it is ready to use. You should be able to tie the ribbons into bows otherwise you need longer ribbons.

Now pick some flowers to press. Layer them in paper towels on the inside of the flower press (contact paper is on inside of both cardboard pieces). Close press and tie. Then put on hard surface (table, wood floor, etc.) and cover with a large book (I used a dictionary).

In a few days you will have some nicely pressed flowers when you open up your press.

Some books we have been enjoying to learn more about the seeds and the particular plants we are growing. (I shared a few here.)

 This looks like a great book really explaining the process of growing pumpkins and what a pumpkin is. We haven't read it yet.

I shared some good pumpkin books in October as well.

This is a counting book with seeds and then with the harvest they count by tens. Hazel loves it!

This is pretty good, but a tiny bit above Hazel's understanding level. She wasn't really interested when we read it.

We just got this one from the library. It looks like it may be above her head a bit as well, but we will see.

This is where I link up...


  1. I love your flower press - we need to make one of those!

  2. Oh I hope it doesn't get to cold for your young plants. We have a late frost here in Northern Cali so we always have to start inside and transplant early Summer.

  3. Some great books recommended, definitely need to put these on my library list. Thanks for sharing. Ellie

    1. I enjoy all of them and they are all definitely worth checking out. If you are anything like me, you'll end up wanting a copy of several of them since you can't keep library books for a year.

  4. What great ideas you have shared!! Megan

  5. This is a great post! My babies already enjoy "helping" me garden...I can't wait until they are old enough to get a little more involved. Great ideas for the future! Stopping in from Living Life Intentionally. Stephanie

  6. Thank you Megan and Stephanie! Glad you both stopped by!

  7. I loved reading this Carrie. Project Garden sounds like such a great book - I've been searching for something that I can use for ideas to get my son involved with the garden. I'll have to look that one up. Love your flower press too!

  8. There's so many great benefits to gardening, fun, sun, eco-friendly and just beautiful. I look forward to seeing the growth. Have fun!

  9. I LOVE your homemade flower press!

    thanks for linking to Fun sparks

  10. Thanks for the cute post!! We loved having you link up to our "Strut Your Stuff Saturday." We hope you'll be back soon! -The Sisters

  11. Love all these ideas! Our flowers and veggies we planted a while ago started coming up! Thanks for sharing at A Pinteresting Party.


I love to hear your comments and ideas. Thank you for reading and contributing!